This latest in the interminable line of immigration fiascos has distinct echoes of the scandal I myself exposed back in 2004, when instruction from on high was to waive all checks on immigration applications in our 'back-room' office of Managed Migration. The Home Office line was that this was down to rogue local management, when clearly it came from the top brass – the Immigration & Nationality Directorate (as it was called then: it's now the Borders & Immigration Agency) and Home Office top management and mandarins. There was a traditional whitewash report (the Sutton Report) to officially clear them. The ministers (Beverley Hughes and David Blunkett) were hopelessly out of their depth, and giving support through their 'political-correctness' ethos.
The difference, evidently, between the latest debacle and the one I was involved in exposing, is that the seniority of the staff they suspend has ascended the Home Office greasy pole. Now, instead of local managers at Sheffield Managed Migration (and the minion who 'whistle-blew': yours truly), instead it's Brodie Clark, the head guy of the section of the Borders & Immigration Agency in charge of ports-of-entry.
I suppose, for such a non-functioning dog's dinner job as is UK immigration control, that this is an advance!
At root is the Home Office firm belief that immigration is an insoluble problem, together with the ethos of 'political-correctness', of course. But politicians are often complicit. It was under the previous Conservative Government (the one immediately before Blair came to power), with Michael Howard at the Home Office helm, that EU passport holders were first waived through passport control.
With a bit of luck there will be clear fingerprints of Home Office top brass at the scene of the crime and the Home Office will be further exposed for the useless and politicised serious dysfunctionality it is.